This is a collection of references to the meaning of the colour black. Ongoing research.

From grimm@ican.net Thu Apr  2 16:52:24 EST 1998
Article: 419166 of alt.gothic
From: grimm@ican.net (Grimm)
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Black=Evil? [poll-ish]
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 22:32:57 GMT
Message-ID: <351d7915.5271482@news.ican.net>

On Thu, 26 Mar 1998 22:16:01 -0500, Nace Phlaux 
did decree:

>But what are the
>historical reasons for believing black is evil? What are ANY of the
>reasons for the anti-black belief?

It really depends on the culture.  For example, in early Egypt, black
was the colour of life, because it was the colour of the life-giving
soil of the Nile, where white was the colour of death, because it's
the colour of bones.  In Classical Grecian culture, as well, we see
that the white clay jars were mostly used for funerals.

It seems in general, to the westerners, black=death.  Black is the
colour of night, a time where imagination runs wild.  Beneath the
light of the sun, all is illuminated, and there is nothing to be
afraid of.  Under the cover of night demons and wraiths play; any of
the obscuring shadows could contain a murderer, and the pale moon
casts a haunting light on the world.  Of course, I don't believe all
of this, but it's an explination for what the average person thinks.  

From backohc@email.uc.edu Thu Apr  2 16:52:46 EST 1998
Article: 419168 of alt.gothic
From: backohc@email.uc.edu
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Black=Evil? [poll-ish]
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 17:20:37 -0600
Message-ID: <6fk0em$tk3$1@nnrp1.dejanews.com>

In article <6fh0kv$eun$1@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
  ElocutusOfBorg@hotmail.com wrote:
> Quoth bahharroth@aol.com (Bahharroth):

> > One might also mention that it is the color many older people associate with
> > mourning, and therefore death.
> Black is the color of darkness and deep shadow, where our ancestors
> remembered that the predators hide.  Remember, we have only had electric
> lights for 100 years or so, only had cities lighted twenty-four hours a day
> for fifty.  Fear of darkness is a survival trait.  Of course, it could be
> argued that holding onto outmoded survival traits is the cause for an awful
> lot of mental illness.
Good Point. However,
Many things in folklore are branded as "evil" because they represent the
opposite of what is the norm and therefore considered healthy for the
community.  Witches were women who defied their traditional roles. Black was
the color opposite of white/day, when those that were the decent  normals went
inside, and conversely this was when the evils came out. Cats were considered
"evil" because they did not possess behavior patterns that coincided with the
norm, i.e., they existed a lot night. Oh,and that eyeshine thing didn't help
them much, either.
On a side note, it was the persecution of cats which helped the spread of the
Black Plague. Cats eat rats, and since there were no more cats....Maybe the
Egyptians were onto something ;}

On another side note, this is almost all culturally based. In many Asian
countries,
white is the color of mourning and death, and red is the color of marriage.
Does that mean that Asian goths should wander around dressed in all white?

Cleio
backohc@email.uc.edu
geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/8003


From saraicat@aol.com Thu Apr  2 16:54:05 EST 1998
Article: 418744 of alt.gothic
From: saraicat@aol.com (SaraiCat)
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Black=Evil? [poll-ish]
Date: 27 Mar 1998 09:31:51 GMT
Message-ID: <1998032709315101.EAA22778@ladder03.news.aol.com>

Quoth bahharroth@aol.com (Bahharroth):

>   Another thing I run into a lot among older people, is that black is a
>color
>often chosen by rebellious intellectual types..thus it is associated with
>communism, anarchism, sociol unrest, being an agitator, ect. It is the
>taditional color of enemies of the state, in many people's eyes. 

One might also mention that it is the color many older people associate with
mourning, and therefore death.  Note the fact that death is often portrayed as
a black-clad figure.  And, of course, any young person that would willingly
associate themselves with something as scary and mysterious as death MUST be
wrong.

-Sarai

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